A 45-year-old farmer was shot dead in presence of administrative and police officials at Durjanpur village in Ballia district of Uttar Pradesh on Thursday afternoon as a fight broke out during the allotment of a ration shop. The shooting took place in full public glare, leading to pandemonium.
Taking cognizance of the matter, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath ordered suspension of all the police personnel and officials, including Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Suresh Kumar Pal and Circle Officer Chandrakesh Singh, who were present at the spot.
Police, meanwhile, have booked the main accused, Dhirendra Pratap Singh, for the killing.
Seven others have been booked for criminal conspiracy. No one has been arrested so far.
According to the police, Singh shot the farmer from his licensed pistol.
Amid reports that Singh is a local BJP leader, the saffron party’s Ballia district unit president Jai Prakash Sahu denied Singh was a party worker but added that he “could be a BJP supporter”.
BJP MLA from Bairiya, Surendra Singh, said that Singh is an ex-armyman and supporter of the BJP.
In Lucknow, Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Kumar Awasthi said that besides the SDM and the Circle Officer, 10 more policemen, including two sub-inspectors and eight constables, have been suspended.
The role of the Station Officer of Revati Police Station is also being investigated, Awasthi added.
According to Superintendent of Police (Ballia) Devendra Nath, a quarrel started between two self-help groups (SHGs), one supported by Dhirendra Pratap Singh, during the ration shop allotment at Durjanpur village, which falls under Revati Police Station area.
“As both the groups refused to settle the matter, the officials present at the spot decided to halt the allotment process. Sub-Divisional Magistrate Suresh Kumar Pal stopped the allotment and asked the villagers to return home. As people started disbursing, Dhirendra Pratap Singh opened fire in which Jai Prakash got injured. He died on his way to the hospital,” Nath said.
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